CHICAGO MESOTHELIOMA LAWYER
Chicago Lawyer for Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Illnesses
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of aggressive and deadly cancer which affects the tissue covering most of the internal organs.
This tissue is called the mesothelium, hence where the name for the cancer comes from.
Some treatments exist for this deadly disease, but for many, a cure is not possible. Physicians divide the disease into types based on the affected part of the mesothelium.
In most cases, mesothelioma affects the tissue surrounding the lungs, or the pleura. This type is pleural mesothelioma.
Rarer instances of mesothelioma affect the mesothelium in the abdomen, or the peritoneum. This type is peritoneal mesothelioma.
Other instances of mesothelioma occur around the heart, or sometimes the testicles.
Mesothelioma is caused primarily by asbestos exposure. This disease has symptoms specific to where it occurs.
How Much Exposure to Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma?
Asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma. In fact, all types of asbestos have the potential to cause mesothelioma. At least 80% of all mesothelioma victims had exposure to asbestos in the past. When these victims inhale the deadly substance, the fibers of it cause irreversible inflammation in certain parts of the body.
It also results in scarring and damages to the cells of the body. The cause of different types of mesothelioma results from the asbestos traveling to other parts of the body.
Pleural mesothelioma results from asbestos sticking in the lining of the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma results from asbestos entering and depositing into the lining of the abdominal cavity.
Occupational Exposure to Asbestos
Occupational exposure to asbestos remains the top cause of mesothelioma development. While it is difficult to understand exactly how much asbestos exposure leads to mesothelioma, we do have an approximation. However, keep in mind that even the smallest exposure to asbestos is very dangerous due to the shape and size of its fibers. As the exposure to asbestos increases, so does the chance of developing mesothelioma. Additionally, having trace amounts of asbestos on the skin or clothing is enough to lead to a mesothelioma diagnosis.
In this section, we outline the symptoms of both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.
Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
- Chest pain
- Painful coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Strange lumps of tissue under the skin of the chest
- Unusual or unexplained weight loss
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Unusual or unexplained weight loss
Rare Forms of Mesothelioma Symptoms
Unfortunately, rarer forms of mesothelioma do not necessarily have symptoms associated with them. In fact, many symptoms that doctors see in patients with rarer forms of the disease are not specific to it. The symptoms occur in many patients with many different conditions or diseases. The rarer forms of mesothelioma include pericardial (affecting the tissue surrounding the heart) and tunica vaginalis (surrounding the testicles). Pericardial symptoms include chest pain and difficulty breathing. Tunica vaginalis symptoms include swelling of or unusual masses on the testicles.
Anytime you experience signs or symptoms that something is wrong, see your doctor. It is not necessary that you wait for more prominent symptoms or to try self diagnosis prior to a doctor’s visit. Any of the above symptoms are cause for concern, and should be addressed by a medical professional as quickly as possible. This is not only the best course of action for your health, but it also helps your case. The more information you gather about your symptoms and disease progression, the more your Chicago mesothelioma lawyer has to work with.
Types of Mesothelioma Claims
In general, there are three types of mesothelioma claims that victims can pursue. These types are personal injury, wrongful death, and trust fund claims. Specifically, those who received a mesothelioma diagnosis file either personal injury or trust fund claims. However, family members who lost a loved one to mesothelioma file wrongful death claims. Financial compensation never replaces the life of a loved one, and it cannot get back the time and happiness someone loses to the disease. However, monetary recoveries help victims and families to cover their extensive medical bills, funeral costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Of the three types we listed, the two most common types are personal injury and wrongful death claims. Additionally, many people refer to these claims as “asbestos claims” due to its role in the development of mesothelioma. A good Chicago mesothelioma lawyer is familiar with the manufacturers of asbestos, and aims to determine liability for your case. Below, we outline the basics of the three types of mesothelioma (asbestos) claims.
Personal Injury Lawsuits for Mesothelioma Victims
- These are filed by the patient, otherwise known as the victim of mesothelioma.
- Juries generally award damages for medical expenses, lost wages or income, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
- Sometimes, juries also award punitive damages. These serve to discourage corporations from committing wrongful acts in the future.
- Many, if not most, of these cases settle out of court before they ever go to trial.
- The deadline to file a personal injury claim is 2 years after your diagnosis of mesothelioma.
I Was Exposed in the Military, But I Can't Sue the Government Can I?
A few different scenarios exist in which servicemembers may come into contact with asbestos. Those who served in Iraq, the Middle East, of Southeast Asia may have come into contact with asbestos as old buildings were damaged. Other members of the military, like workers in shipyards, construction areas, or vehicle repair may also have had contact with asbestos. Luckily, these individuals have the right to file for disability compensation or benefits for asbestos-related illnesses.
While you cannot actually sue the government, they will pay for your health care and compensation if you can prove and provide the following:
- Medical records proving the illness or disability.
- Service records listing your job.
- Doctor’s notes that link your exposure to asbestos during your service to your illness.
- You did not receive a dishonorable discharge from the military.
In order to determine whether or not you qualify for these benefits, visit the veterans asbestos exposure page from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Wrongful Death Claims
- The estate of the person who died from mesothelioma, including the family members, file these claims after the victim dies of mesothelioma.
- Juries generally award compensation for funeral costs and any other mesothelioma-related expenses that the family incurred.
- The deadline for the estate to file a wrongful death claim is 2 years after the death of their loved one.
My Family Member Died from Mesothelioma. Can I File a Mesothelioma Claim?
In most cases, yes. These cases mostly take the form of product liability suits against the company or companies that exposed their loved one to asbestos.
The estate of the deceased person has the right to file the lawsuit after their passing. Filing the suit opens the door for compensation to cover funeral costs, lost income, and medical costs.
However, keep in mind that you only have 2 years from the date of the death of your loved one.
Below, we include a general list of who may file the wrongful death lawsuit:
- Life partner or spouse of the deceased
- Their children, including adopted or stepchildren
- Close friends
- Those financially dependent upon the deceased
Mesothelioma Trust Fund Claims
- Companies who recognize their own liability often set up asbestos trust funds. This helps them to avoid future liability in lawsuits.
- These trust funds still provide compensation for victims of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. Your Chicago mesothelioma lawyer will determine whether or not the company responsible for your disease has a trust fund that you may claim compensation from.
- The best way to ensure that you meet the filing deadlines and requirements for a trust fund claim is to hire an experienced Chicago mesothelioma lawyer. They will help you determine your eligibility and ensure that you file on time with the appropriate paperwork.
How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
Many victims visit a healthcare provider because of the symptoms they’re having, only to find out that they have mesothelioma.
In most cases, the patients have no reason to suspect that their symptoms are coming from the rare form of cancer. In order to determine whether someone has mesothelioma, doctors usually perform multiple tests.
Below, we outline the different ways in which physicians test for and diagnose mesothelioma:
- As with most doctor visits, they begin by asking questions about your medical history and potential risk factors in your life. Notably, they ask about asbestos exposure.
- Then, they usually examine you for other health problems related to certain areas of the body. This usually helps to diagnose specific forms of mesothelioma.
- At this point, if your history and physical examination point toward mesothelioma, your doctor will likely order more tests.
- Imaging tests using x-rays, radioactive particles, sound waves, or magnetic fields are used to make up pictures of the internal structures of your body. This helps to view suspicious areas, determine if the cancer has spread, find out if treatment options are working, and to look for signs of the cancer returning
- Chest x-ray
- CT (computed tomography) scan
- PET (positron emission tomography) scan
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
- Those with mesothelioma often show certain levels of substances in the blood that differ from those without mesothelioma. Therefore, doctors often order blood tests.
- Doctors also order fluid and tissue sample tests, as well as tests of pulmonary function. The more information a doctor has about you, the more accurate and likely their diagnosis is.
Mesothelioma Trust Funds
Mesothelioma trust funds are an important part of many mesothelioma cases. When asbestos manufacturers file for bankruptcy, they set aside funds to provide future compensations for victims of asbestos exposure. These trust funds accomplish a few different things, which we list below.
- Compensate future claims
- Allow victims to file claims with the trust fund rather than suing the company
- Established through bankruptcy courts
- Provide aid for those with all manner of diseases related to asbestos exposure
If you’d like to find out whether you qualify for an asbestos trust fund claim, feel free to contact a Chicago mesothelioma lawyer with Curcio Law Offices.
How Do You Find a Top Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer?
The best way to find a Chicago mesothelioma lawyer is to begin your search with broad categories. Depending on your specific needs, you’ll search for a personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, or claims attorney.
Then, you want to determine whether or not they handle mesothelioma and asbestos cases.
Fortunately, one of Chicago’s most distinguished law firms handles these cases. Curcio Law Offices fights on behalf of victims of asbestos exposure, as well as their families. Our experienced attorneys will help put you in the best position for a favorable outcome.
Should I Hire a Lawyer Who Specializes in Mesothelioma Cases?
The best thing you can do for your case is hire a qualified Chicago mesothelioma lawyer. This is due to the fact that they are the most qualified individuals who can help with your case. With the necessary legal experience and knowledge, we can put you in the best position for a favorable outcome.
How an Experienced Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer Can Help Your Case
Below, we include specific ways in which a mesothelioma lawyer can help your case:
- Because of their extensive knowledge of legal processes, they are fit to represent you in course for your mesothelioma or asbestos case.
- They will prove negligence on your behalf.
- They fight for the just compensation you deserve after your asbestos exposure.
What Happens After a Deposition on a Mesothelioma Case?
After the deposition, the process continues with the discovery phase. This involves research, interrogations, and the gathering of information from both sides. Generally, your lawyer handles this phase by gathering evidence for your claim and responding to interrogations or allegations from the defendants. Your attorney prepares you ahead of time for all possible questions, and uses the information gathered to do this preparation.
Unfortunately, it often takes a while to reach a settlement for these cases. It also varies on a case by case basis. Some cases take several months, while others take longer than a year. Keep an open line of communication with your Chicago mesothelioma lawyer to have guidance on your case’s progress.
Experienced Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered illness or death from asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation. Mesothelioma has been heavily linked to asbestos exposure as far back as the 1940s, but true research only began in the 1960s. Since then, the rare, yet deadly form of cancer has affected countless individuals.
That’s why, at Curcio Law Offices, our Chicago attorneys dedicate themselves to the needs of our clients. To schedule your free consultation with a skilled Chicago mesothelioma lawyer, please call 312-321-1111 today.